Loved ones remembering young mother killed in Birmingham shooting

Loved ones remember young woman killed in shooting
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 9:35 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2023 at 11:14 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Family and friends are mourning the loss of a woman killed in a senseless shooting in Birmingham last week.

She and one other person were killed while three others were injured outside Aria Bar & Restaurant. Birmingham Police say the gunfire stemmed from a targeted attack but the victims hit by the bullets were innocent bystanders.

Though ChaVeda Willis was laid to rest Saturday afternoon, her loved ones say her spirit will live on.

“Woodie was a fun person,” said Wanda Peoples, her aunt. “Woodie was the type of person that if you met her, you can’t forget her because she had an infectious smile.”

That’s the memory etched into the minds of all who knew her. ChaVeda was affectionately called Wooh or Woodie. Her family held a balloon release on Tuesday to honor her.

Her three sisters spoke in front of the crowd: “Our dear sister Woo, coming up with this was the hardest thing to do ever. We are beyond hurt of your passing but we are at peace knowing you are peacefully resting... Our family chain is broken and nothing seems the same but if God called us one by one, the chain would link again.”

Some of those in attendance at the funeral can understand what the family is dealing with right now, having dealt with their own gun violence tragedies. One woman says she lost her son six years ago to gun violence and her grandson four years ago to gun violence.

“From one mother to another mother, you’re going to need somebody that’s been in your shoes because if they haven’t walked in your shoes, they can’t tell you you should be over the death of the child that you birthed,” she said.

“So if you don’t remember nothing else today, I want you to remember that Woodie loved life,” said her aunt Wanda. “She loved people. She loved her family. People loved her and she enjoyed herself. So I’m going to tell you while you’re still on this side, stop frowning and being upset. Enjoy yourself and love people because that’s what God want us to do.”

The investigation into the shooting is still very active. If you have any information, you’re encouraged to call Birmingham Police. You can also reach out to Crimestoppers to remain anonymous.

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